Even if you are an avid Christian, a rabid Muslim, or an Orthodox Jew you have to admit that OTHER people invent gods.
Nobody believes in the Roman gods (Apollo, Mars, Diana, Mercury, etc.), the Greek gods (Dionysis, Poseidon, etc.), or the Norse gods (Freyr, Heyl, Odin, etc.) any more. Everybody admits that they were invented.
So, given that dozens, probably even hundreds, of gods were invented by humans, why would anybody think their god wasn’t invented?
For some reason, humans have an innate need to invent gods to worship. Do you think other animals invent gods?
That might be 2871.
In 2006 I was one of about 600 people who were dealing with a narcissist who acted like he was a god.
Election to a minor public office got him started.
He was smart and started off well, but then his god delusion surfaced.
He even had a few devoted and obedient followers.
Happily, the rest of us were able to remove him from that office and he left town.
Good, scientific answer.
But, we can never even begin to count how many have been invented. There are some Hindu cults, for instance, that believe that every thing on earth is a god. One taxi driver, for instance, worshipped his car, because it provided him with a way to earn a living, which made it a god.
And of course there are thousands of gods invented by primitive and far-flung peoples that we don't even ask - in Africa, in the Polynesian islands, in the Americas, etc.
There are those who think dogs think that we are gods. And, as shown here, people who think cats think they, themselves are gods. Somebody told me once that they think that horses they they are gods, but that - unlike the gods we hear of on a day-to-day basis, think that they are benevloent gods who serve mankind.
And we all know individuals who think they are god, are at least a god, in their own office or company or family.
Bottom line, though, is that nothing F*%%*#s up a place like a god!
Cats don't. They are gods.
Or at least, as my mom claimed, sovereign monarchies with tails.
Surely researchers have done brain scans on humans when they are responding to religious symbols.
Is anyone doing similar brain scans on other animals and found similar responses to any stimuli?
Surely researchers have done brain scans on humans when they are responding to religious symbols.I don't know about that, but I heard there's a brain area that will produce a "sense of presence" when stimulated - a feeling that a being - or Being - is in the room.
I have no idea. I've talked to dogs and cats in my lifetime, but their response hasn't been within the framework of what I was asking. Usually they just think I'm going to feed them.
It was the Genesis idea that got me onto this next one. I look for snakes in my yard and try to talk to them. "Hey, you. Hey, snake. What's your name? I know you can talk. I've read all about you. Come on now, snake. Talk to me." For the most part the snakes just scurry away quickly, but I did have one of them stop once and just look at me rather funny before he left.
"When did the world begin and how?"
I asked a lamb, a goat, a cow:
"What's it all about and why?"
I asked a hog as he went by:
"Where will the whole thing end, and when?"
I asked a duck, a goose, a hen:
And I copied all the answers too,
A quack, a honk, an oink, a moo.
That's a classic, Plinius. LOL
I once had a dog who would sometimes bark at inanimate objects -- say an oddly shaped stump encountered on a walk in the woods. Dogs have rather poor eyesight and are highly social and territorial. Their "pack" roughly corresponds to our "tribe". They are highly attuned to recognize "the other" and impute agency on what they detect. That is, a dog has an image in its mind of an agent that it thinks it has detected, and projects intent onto it. That bear (the stump) means me harm.
I don't see this as categorically different from what humans do when they perceive God (the stump) and project onto it their imagined model of an intentional agent. My dog, on finally realizing that he'd been barking at a stump, would behave sheepishly. He'd glance back at me as if to see whether I'd noticed his mistake (of course, here I'm projecting and anthropomorphizing). Humans are smarter than dogs in many areas, and considerably less honest. Rather than admit that we are wrong, we make up elaborate justifications to preserve our status within our pack/tribe. These justifications we call "religion".
Rather than just look sheepish and get on with our day, we continue to ruminate on how we may have actually been "right" in our assessment of the stump as a bear. Maybe the bear transformed, Heisenberg style, into a stump when we noticed it. Maybe it's better to take Pascal's wager and treat every odd looking stump as if it's a bear. Maybe I'm the only one who truly saw the bear and everyone else was deluded into seeing just a stump. Maybe I'll be the apostle Paul and go around trying to convince others that stumps are bears in disguise.
Whether other animals have gods of course depends on our human assessment of what constitutes a god, and what we think we know of the minds of other critters. I'm pretty sure that at least dogs don't have religion -- that is, they pretty quickly get over the shame of being wrong and don't build some Rube Goldberg justification machine of defense. They may have something akin to gods -- hell, it might be us, or it might be some imagined thing at which they bark at night. I just wish that they'd stop their incessant fucking barking so that I could get a decent night's sleep.